Despite less than ideal weather and economic conditions, 2004 was a good year for many HVACR contractors, and it was a great year for the "elite eight" who were selected as winners inThe News'2004 "Best Contractor To Work For" contest. The list of winners stretches from Seattle to Charlotte, N.C. - and for the first time includes a Canadian contractor. The criteria for winning included creating and maintaining a nurturing environment for employees, providing opportunities for growth and ongoing training, and recognizing and rewarding achievement.

This year's winners include a contractor who hired an employee a few months after the contractor took in the employee's family following a destructive flood, a contractor who began his entrepreneurial career as a 14-year-old window washer, and a contractor who sponsors a once-a-month breakfast cookout for employees. Workers at one winning company built a wall with bricks bearing the name of each employee to honor the owners.

The regional winners in the 2004 "Best Contractor To Work For" contest are: Atmostemp LLC Service Experts, East Berlin, N.J.; Calvert-Jones Co. Inc., Alexandria, Va.; Morris-Jenkins Co., Charlotte, N.C.; Pat's Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., Oconomowoc, Wis.; Comfort Tech Service Now!, Del Rio, Texas; MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, Seattle; Gallagher's Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., Los Molinos, Calif.; and Bradley Mechanical Services, Mississauga, Ontario.

There are vast differences in the sizes of these companies and the markets they serve, but there is at least one common thread - the owners and managers at these companies realize the importance of their employees, and they know what it takes to keep them happy and productive.

For complete coverage of the award-winning companies, see the following articles in this issue:

  • "Creating A Secure Future For Techs"

  • "Fun Is The Operative Word For Employees"

  • "First Friday Feast Helps Build Teamwork"

  • "All-For-One Attitude Makes For Productive Company"

  • "Contractor Retains Family Feel As It Grows"

  • "Dream Becomes Reality - 25 Years Later"

  • "‘The Wall' Represents Common Bond"

  • "Chanting, Clapping Before The Day Begins"

    Publication date: 02/07/2005